Bake Oven Process for Electrocoated Parts
After exiting the post rinses the electrocoated part enters the bake oven. The bake oven crosslinks and cures the paint film, making it hard and durable to assure maximum performance properties. Oven temperatures can range from 180°F to over 400°F, largely dependent on the paint technology being used and the time spent in the oven. Most often, 20 minutes of metal temperature at a recommended temperature is specified to obtain full paint cure.
Because of their water based formulations, electrocoat paints have low volatile organic compound (VOC) and hazardous air pollutant (HAP) content. Ovens must be continuously exhausted to maintain the oven atmosphere below the lower explosion limit (LEL) and to prevent smoke buildup in the oven and plant. Often, the levels of VOC or HAP emissions are low enough that companies are typically permitted to exhaust ovens to the atmosphere without the use of air abatement equipment. Federal, state and local law will define the amount of emissions that are permitted without the use of air abatement equipment such as a thermal incinerator.